Locations Manager(s): Ken LavetOn Location
They Live was filmed entirely in Los Angeles, and most of the shots made use of the distinct downtown Skyline for background.
The area where the wasteland is in the movie is around Beverly Blvd, where it crosses over where Second Street becomes Glendale Blvd. The area was cleared in the 60's for a proposed extension of the 2 freeway that was never built. [Thanks to Tom]
I spent a few days trying to locate the scene area using google streetview maps, after snapping print screens of the movie in my computer to judge locations purely off the downtown skyline buildings, power lines, adjacent flow of auto traffic shown as well as building dwellings adjacent to the homeless campground scenery and have come up with the fact that this area has been changed somewhat but still not developed entirely. Although in the last street view could be very recent, as of date, I was hung up on around 4th Street because Frank tells Nada at the new job he acquired doing construction about Justiceville on 4th Street. After the foreman tells Nada "Ay, there's no sleeping on the site...", Frank comes up and says "You need a place to stay? Justiceville's over on 4th Street with hot food and showers. I'm going over that way if you want to show you".
(after looking up "Justiceville" which exists in true life as a 501(3)c non profit housing Justiceville/Homeless USA to end homeless Los Angeles life but found it (Dome Village) closed in Oct 2006 according to it's website.
After spending more time using the views captured in the movie scenes and using streetview feature on Google Maps I concluded that the correct site for the homeless campground and across the street Church "African Methodist Episcopal Free Church" should have been located at in between streets Boyleston and Beaudry and Temple and 1st. Judging in the one scene showing Frank walk toward the Church, it faces south and I get a view of a building with certain rows of tinted windows. Here is a link to the comparisons I made
. [Thanks to Ron]
The wastelands exact location is where the Civitas School of Leadership is today, more accurately, the West Court street used to reach North Beaudry Avenue, but today a Baseball practice court (the one with the rectangular field), and several asphalt covered basketball courts can be seen at the spot. [Thanks to Andrew Gyore]
When Nada walks through downtown, he passes the L.A. Athletic club at 431 W 7th Street. [Thanks to Ron]
To Roddy Piper's memory. The movie begins under the 110 overpass over the LA river. Seen from Google Earth The train track splits into a V on the NW side of the river here onto both sides of the river. Above that behind the camera, is the interchange from Southbound I5 and 110 and Elysian Park. The LA river bank goes from tapered sides north of I5 to a vertical wall under the 110. It's the site of multiple movies made in the river bed. (Fast and Furious, etc.) The hill in the back in the opening shot overlooks a southern most part of Frogtown in Elysian Valley. Next He's walking along next to these tracks into LA. The shot looking South into LA is on Spring St N slightly South of Baker St. next to the parking area where a car pulls out. The cross street and track footbridge to N. Chinatown is now torn down and that section of track removed that he's walking next to but it's still partially visible in Google Earth history under '94. The Metro Gold Line to the Landmark Chinatown station wasn't changed over from Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad until the 90's. The short Shot looking South into the LA skyline close to the footbridge is also on Spring St N. I concur that the Wasteland is between Beaudry Ave and N. Boylston St and W. Court St and Angelina St. both removed and converted into a baseball diamond. The Church on W. Court is now part of a soccer field. Going South on Boylston St it makes a sharp right onto Colton St where Vista Hermosa Park is. Half a block down S Boylston St is (was) an alleyway. This is the alleyway he ran to. It's in part of Vista Hermosa park where there is a very large ceramic snake in the park. The park was built after the movie was made. Nothing looks like it did in LA. [Thanks to Ruff]Can you help? Do you know any of the Los Angeles, S. California (or any other) filming locations used for They Live, particularly Holly's house? [Please send them in]Locations LinksIf you know of a good link for They Live locations, please let us know.